Observation - Spey Pages
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2007, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washinrton
Posts: 179

Hi guys!
In the early days of my Spey casting career learning to cast was difficult because I had no videos,spey claves,or instructors in my little part of the world.The only clues were found in books about atlantic salmon fishing books.So learning was restriced to trial and error and observation of the very few casters of the day,many of whom were learning themselves.So I learned by observing as many bad casts as good.
Today we have clinics,spey claves,videos,and many more casters to watch and learn from.How many people have you seen at casting demos that watch the line go out there but totally ignore the little things that made the cast happen?
So my question is how and what do you observe?For instance:hands,rod tip ,handle,stance,tempo,D-loop,and many more.
mkinney is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2007, 04:18 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: North Puget Sound
Posts: 80
Hands, rod tip, line / loop. I've been particularly focused on the loop lately for tight spots because as you've said (I think), if you can for a tight loop, you can get it out there. These were things you've told me to do long ago, but I think it took awhile unfortunately to internalize. I still find myself dozing off and just watching where I want the line to go. BTW: Nice to see you posting!
cnaka is offline  
post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2007, 09:20 PM
Skidrow Woolley Fly Club
KerryS's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Skagit system
Posts: 387
I think I pay more attention to rod position and tempo. For isntance how far back someone may move the rod in preparation for the rip back to form the d-loop and how high or low the carry the tip. How high or low they may carry the tip during the rip back to the d loop. Do they raise the rod much as the loop is being formed. How fast they move the rod during each segment of the cast.

I also pay particular attention to the water and air conditions someone is casting in. Is the water current moving fast, moderate, or slow. Is the current coming in on the caster, moving away or at a right angle. How deep is the caster wading. Is there any wind and in what direction is it coming at the caster. I like to see how someone handles the conditions they are casting in. Few ever talk about how water and air affect the cast.

"The reason you have a good vision is you're standing on the shoulders of giants." ~ Andy Batcho
KerryS is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2007, 09:30 PM
#&%*@^# Caster
sean's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Seattle
Posts: 3,058
I have always focus on the hands and torso. For me it tells me a lot about the persons style of casting and how they move their hands and arms to acheive the cast. Also seeing how good casters use their bodies to me is the key to being able to make the same cast over and over.

sean is offline  
post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2007, 11:37 PM
Registered User
Tayside's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern BC
Posts: 312
I made the change from single to two handed rods when I was in my fifties and had a solid knowledge of single handed casting . During my years with the single hander I found the best way to view others was by the use of video tape, analysing casts a frame at a time over and over lets one concentrate on one particular area at a time.

When I made the jump to two handers I decided that the best and quickest way to become proficient was to attend as many events and video as many of the best casters as I could. Transferring the video to the computer allowed me to analyze casts over and over till I understood as much of the mechanics of casting as I could. Using this method I progressed fairly quickly but my biggest advances have come during events such as claves when people like yourself have observed me casting and stop by and say "try this" . Little things that I missed picked up by an observant teacher made all the difference.

Tayside is online now  
post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2007, 11:41 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Great Lakes
Posts: 445
MK,a big hello.......

...........from Indiana! I was on the Kankakee trying a couple of new lines Sunday,the river was up in the grass!! Hope your winter has gone well! Our late fall,early winter was spectacular!!
spey machine is offline  
post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2007, 01:44 AM
Registered User
speyhead's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Bulkley,Salmon & Clearwater, Henry's Fork
Posts: 81
Nice ice-breaker


Your thoughts and insight on the subject will benefit this board. I'm confident the majority of the people who visit these pages regularly, agree's that your input is most welcomed and needed!

Thanks for posting.....

Tom Hill
speyhead is offline  
post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2007, 02:02 AM
Pullin' Thread
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NW Washington
Posts: 4,694

Hand position, hand movements, arm movements, body movements, rod position before and during the lift, rod position during D loop formation, rod position during forward delivery, wrist movement, finger position to show wrist rotation, loop, how power is applied to both D loop and forward spey, length of belly, whether line or water is used to load the rod, and many, many more.
flytyer is offline  
post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2007, 03:13 AM
chrome-magnon man
Dana's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: west coast steelhead/salmon, BC/Alberta trout
Posts: 5,375
Hi Mike!

This is a really good point you've raised. I was teaching a school last weekend and was making some demo casts to demonstrate a technique and I noticed that most of the clients were watching my line go out rather than what I was doing to make it go out. So I said "ignore the line for a moment and watch what I'm doing here." This seemed to help.

Once upon a time when my ego was larger and a lot more fragile than it is now I used to cast a long way during demos and teaching. Now I cast as short as I can and as often as I can and try to draw people's attention away from the finished product in the hope that people will focus on what I'm doing rather than what the line is doing.

Dana is offline  
post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2007, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washinrton
Posts: 179
HI again guys

Yes observation plays a big part in my own learning and teaching.It helps me to break down casts into small pieces or steps,then only observing acouple at a time.When spending time with our gillie friends from across the pond they told me that while apprenticeing the worked on one step such as the initial lift for a week at a time or more.Building a repitiore of steps that become second nature gives me more time to watch my weak points.Where do I start ? The physics of the cast:tension,acceleration,and rod tip path.Then I focuss on the steps of the cast such as single spey:initial lift,sweep,power up and oppisite the forward cast, anchor,D-loop,forward stroke,and stop.From there Ithink about relationships such as eye hand,or hand body rod tip .In other words a little bit of hand or body movement will move the rod tip a long ways.The next relationship I key in on is the amount of power in the forward stroke compared to the the intensity of the stop. the last thing I always want to see is how much effort is expended.This is a little out line that I use to learn and evaluate.I watch a lot of other things most were mentoined here in these posts.I thought that paying attention to the conditions was a very good thought and using videos is always agood idea
Thanks for all your ideas MBK
mkinney is offline  
post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2007, 06:50 PM
A guy who loves to fish
DoubleL's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: PNW
Posts: 67
Admittedly, as a beginner watching the line unfurl out in those long graceful casts it was difficult to not focus on and not be fascinated by the line. As I have started to progress in my casting, I am focused on the more intimate details of the process. For me there was so much needed to execute a great cast that I didn't start having real success until I began to slow down and observe myself.

The videos, books, speypages, claves and other materials available have been a tremendous help for me. I admire the dedication of those folks like yourself who didn't had access to the same resources still excelled and more importantly shared those insights with other. It's nice to be a benefactor of that same determination.

Last edited by DoubleL; 01-13-2007 at 07:19 PM. Reason: grammar
DoubleL is offline  
post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2007, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 52
Originally Posted by Tayside
I made the change from single to two handed rods when I was in my fifties
I take it that means you have been using 2 handers for 20 years then
Dundee got hammered 5-1 today
Mike Kinney
During your Demo that I witnessed in Carnation, the thing that I noticed is that you keep it really simple and very easy to follow,that allowed myself and most of the others watching you see all your hand and body movements,which I found very helpful and learned a few new tricks.
Keep up the good work.

James Chalmers
spey valley is offline  
post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-13-2007, 11:24 PM
Registered User
Tayside's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern BC
Posts: 312
Yes James 20 years and still in nappies when it comes to two handed casting.
Happy New Year

Tayside is online now  
post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-16-2007, 04:38 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: River Tay Scotland
Posts: 83
Talking Watch Me!

When dear old dad was teaching me to play golf, he would tell me all the things to with my head, my hands, arms, legs and every other part of my anatomy, to the extent that it almost put me off ever playing the game. The bit that was missing for me was "feel" and what the whole swing should all feel like.
So when I was taking a few early Spey casting lessons I was initially desperate to know what I should be feeling rather than all the body mechanics.
However good mechanics are important.
So much so that I wish someone would invent the fishing equivalent of a golf aid that I saw on TV on my last Florida vacation.
It was called the Medicus golf club and it was hinged in 3 different places, so that if you made a bad golf swing the club would collapse on you and you would have instant feedback!
Now what I want is the hinged Spey rod equivalent where the rod collapses around your head if you don't get it spot on!
Any inventors out there?
Clydesider is offline  
post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-10-2007, 02:07 AM
Speypages.com Vendor
NCFS's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 533

There is one of the senses we can use very effectively often overlooked and that is of sound...Simon Gawesworth mentions it very well in several of his videos..." the White Mouse" during my clinics I make sure this movement is identified and understood...critical to all casts with loop formations...and once learned never overlooked....then visual can be less demanding....
NCFS is online now  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Spey Pages forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Linear Mode Linear Mode
Rate This Thread:

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Observation and Question speyman Spey Basics 12 06-14-2005 10:29 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome